Aam Aadmi Party’s Chief Spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj held a crucial press conference on Friday to inform the media that the BJP-ruled MCD will be demolishing the MCD Market in the famous Gaffar Market area to reconstruct the complex and then sell the shops in a fresh manner while evicting the existing shopkeepers. The BJP-ruled MCD wants to evict shopkeepers who were given a lease of 99 years in 1976 and reconstruct it with a new builder who will sell these shops to new people instead. While addressing the press conference he further said that the MCD did not carry out maintenance for 40 years and has now served an eviction notice to empty the market within 3 days. He questioned that if the shops were made using poor grade cement, is it the fault of the shopkeepers or the MCD who constructed this rubbish building? He told the gathering that the BJP-ruled MCD was conniving with builder mafia and has similar plans for all such 39 markets in Delhi so that it can fill its pockets with crores of rupees before leaving the MCD.

AAP Chief Spokesperson and MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj said, “This incident is related to the North MCD. You must be aware that the MCD and DDA construct market complexes at various places and the shops in these markets are given on lease for 99 years. Ideally, these leases are converted into freehold deeds. However, the MCD in connivance with big builder mafias is coming up with a new technique. The markets in which shops should have been on freehold, where shops were given on a lease for 99 years, surveys are now being conducted to find out fallacies and evict people from those buildings. They are proving these buildings to be dangerous and forcing the shopkeepers to empty the markets. After the shops are emptied, the shopkeepers have been told that they will not get these shops back again. Moreover, they are saying that they are starting afresh and a new builder will be coming in who will sell these shops to new people as per convenience.”

He said, “There is a market on the Saraswati Marg constructed by the Municipal Corporation wherein allotment was done in 1976 and shopkeepers were given shops on a lease of 99 years. Now in 2021, the MCD has gotten this market investigated by IIT Roorkee. And IIT Roorkee has stated that because of using bad quality cement, the condition of this building is not good. There are many other faults in this building because of which the MCD will now demolish it and construct it again.”

Sh. Saurabh Bhardwaj said, “We have a few questions about this. If the shops were made using poor grade cement, is it the fault of those shopkeepers who bought it or the MCD who constructed this rubbish building? Secondly, if in the past 40 years the MCD did not check on its own building or spend even a single rupee on the repair- is it the fault of the shopkeepers or the MCD? Had they given these shops on freehold, then the shopkeeper could have spent their own money and repaired the building. However, they have given it on a lease, and thus, the shopkeepers do not have the power to repair and maintain it. So, the responsibility of maintenance falls on the MCD only. The MCD did not carry out maintenance for 40 years and now it has sent a notice to empty the market within three days so that the MCD can demolish and construct it again.”

The AAP Chief Spokesperson said, “The most astounding thing in this situation is that the MCD wants to evict the shopkeepers who were given a lease of 99 years and with a fresh start, construct this building with a new builder who will further sell these shops to new people. There are about 39 such markets in Delhi and we are told that the MCD is making a similar plan for all these markets before leaving. This is being done so that the BJP can fill hundreds of crore rupees in their pockets before leaving the MCD.”